Agricultural Policy

North Wales Police Community Alert System online

North Wales Police has launched a new community alert system which allows the communities of North Wales to keep up to date with localised police news.

The system has been funded as part of the Home Office Safer Streets Fund and is currently used in other UK police forces with positive results.

It aims to keep communities up to date with how the police force is dealing with particular issues and make people feel safer in their areas.

Individuals can receive updates on news, alerts, appeals, engagement events and general policing activities via email, text or voice message without needing an internet connection. It also acts as another platform for communities to provide comments or concerns to the police force.

To find more information and register for free, please visit: https://www.northwalescommunityalert.co.uk/

Expression of Interest Window Dates August 2021

Scheme Summary Window Close
Farm Business Grant

A new Farm Business Grant EOI window will open on 1st September 2021 with a budget of £2 million from remaining RDP funds.

Farmers will be able to receive support to invest in new technology and equipment to improve the farm performance.

Further information can be found here: https://gov.wales/farm-business-grant

 1st September - 1st October 2021
Farming Connect What’s On

As a result of the pandemic, Farming Connect has taken the decision to postpone all open events and one-to-many events until further notice. They are conducting a number of activities digitally or over the phone where possible.

More information can be found here:
https://businesswales.gov.wales/farmingconnect/whats-on

 
Farming Connect ICT Programme  Farming Connect is now offering ICT training courses for beginners and intermediate learners.

One-to-one sessions and online workshops are also available on integrating ICT technology into your farm business

To book, please contact Lantra on 01982 552646 or Mae'r cyfeiriad e-bost hwn wedi'i warchod rhag robotiaid sbam. Rhaid i chi alluogi JavaScript i'w weld.

Further information can be found here.
 
Rural Business Investment Scheme Non Agricultural - Window 2

This window of the RBIS has been allocated a budget of £2 million and covers capital investments costs and supports project in Wales that contribute to at least one of the below:

  • the diversification of the rural economy, 
  • the development of the supply chain for natural products, 
  • increasing the productivity, efficiency and competitiveness of rural businesses. 
  • The scheme is open to existing and start up Non-agricultural micro and small enterprises including farmers or members of the farm household diversifying into non-agricultural activities.

Applicants will be required to demonstrate that a viable market has been identified for  their product(s) and that the project would not proceed without the grant.

The maximum grant rate for any individual investment project is 40% of the total costs.

The maximum grant threshold per undertaking for any individual investment project is £50,000, and the minimum is £5,000

Further information and how to apply can be found here: https://gov.wales/rural-business-investment-scheme-non-agriculture 

20 August 2021

Farming Connect Training Application Window

The next Farming Connect training application window will open on 6th September and will close on 29th October 2021.

Those registering for the first time in order to apply for a funded training course or that need to update their account details, please contact Farming Connect before 17:00 25th October 2021.

More information will be available shortly on the Farming Connect website: https://businesswales.gov.wales/farmingconnect/

6th September - 29th October 2021

Welsh Government sets out plans to increase tree planting targets

In a recent written statement by Lee Waters MS, Deputy Minister for Climate Change, it was revealed that Welsh Government is planning to increase tree planting targets to 5,000 hectares per year. Welsh Government's previous targets were 2,000 hectares per year, rising to 4,000ha as soon as possible.

According to the Minister, Wales needs to plant 180,000 hectares by 2050 in line with the recommendations of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC). Last year only 290ha of woodland was planted in Wales. The Deputy Minister called this a ‘call to arms’ in order to meet climate change commitments, as well as provide a wide range of other benefits to Wales.

A Trees Task Force has also found that “current Welsh Government funding for tree planting has been too inconsistent and difficult to access. While it is important to ensure that new woodland is planted in the right places and in the right way, the process for doing this is too slow and bureaucratic”

Welsh Government believes that these revised targets will be met by communities, farmers and other landowners across Wales, as opposed to new woodland planted by the Welsh Government.

Over the next two years, the Minister has committed £17 million to new windows of the Glastir Woodland Creation scheme, and a new Woodland for Wales Action Plan will be launched later this year.

EU farmers set to gain competitive advantage over UK producers

Concerns that divergence between agricultural policies and funding in the UK and EU will give EU farmers a competitive advantage have been consistently highlighted by the FUW for the past five years - and in light of the latest EU CAP reforms, other commentators are now echoing these concerns according to the Farmers Weekly.

As part of a framework that was agreed by policy makers in Brussels on 25th June, EU member states will be given greater flexibility when it comes to supporting farmers under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), once it has been enshrined into law.

While the new five-year CAP period commences on 1st January 2023, European Governments will have to submit their own national strategic plans for meeting new CAP objectives by the end of 2021.

As part of this CAP reform, Member states will still be able to pay active farmers with direct payments using £163 billion (around 70%) of the total CAP budget.

However, at least 25% of the direct payments budget - around £41 billion - will be set aside for voluntary ‘eco schemes’, including organic farming, agroecology and pest management.

Welsh Government pledges to maintain BPS funding for 2022

The Welsh Government has pledged to maintain the same budget for the 2022 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) year.

This was confirmed by Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Rural Affairs, North Wales and Trefnydd, in response to a question from Cefin Campbell MS, Plaid Cymru rural affairs spokesman.

However, the commitment that farmers will be paid at the same rate as in 2019 remains subject to the funding the Welsh Government receives from the UK Government, which will be announced in the Comprehensive Spending Review in the autumn.

Mr Campbell also highlighted that around 40% of the £838 million budget for the 2014-2020 Rural Development Programme remains unspent, however, the Minister responded saying she remains confident that the remaining £362 million would be spent before the December 2023 deadline.

The FUW is urging the Welsh Government to announce its decision on the extension of Glastir contracts as soon as possible given that around a quarter of Welsh farmers rely on such agri-environment schemes for support to protect and enhance the environment.